Thursday, April 5, 2012

Ladder of a Lady

Is the fact that a woman earns, enough to ensure that she is free, independent? Is the fact that she is "allowed" to go out and make a career enough to ensure that she is being treated as an equal, and not being discriminated against by her own family, her society?

Yes, one may realize, that just because one works, does not mean he's free- he could be  slave to a lord- man or woman! Yes, one may realize, that just because a woman is making a career does not mean she is not being discriminated against- but glass ceiling is now an overused concept- so what now.

As I will proceed, the difference will be clear- I talk not of freedom and justice in the professional sphere, but in the personal, societal and cultural sphere-with respect to a woman's profession.

My casual observations boil down a working woman's concept as various levels at which society determines a woman's professional role:

1. Where she works cz she is forced to, to do things she would rather not. Includes de-humanizing activities

Man's love is of man's life a thing apart,
'Tis woman's whole existence.

2. When she works to support her family, where the husband refuses to get off his ass spend lesser on alcohol and drugs. Her work here usually consists of manual labour, including coming back to take care of hme and kids, and very possibly, his parents.

3. When she is not allowed to work as her sole role is boiled down to that of a child-bearer

Of all the paths lead to a woman's love
Pity's the straightest.
JOHN FLETCHER, The Knight of Malta

4. Where she is given the "freedom" to work or not work. Usually upper class. Girls usually are pampered, and work because its in fashion, and will probably not carry on working in  few years, when socializing and parlours and kids take up time (more on that, here). At the same level we can find those women who have a career, but will be seen by the family as "its her 'problem' if she is choosing to work outside of home, she has to just give up on her leisure time now to take care of her house, husband and kids- because only men deserve leisure time if they work.
Here comes the concept of the society glorifying the  "supermom"- the woman who has all the possible responsibilities on her head! This is where our society is hanging, and the women who are essentially very normal human beings and no super moms, will face injustice after injustice in a country where you apparently have "freedom to choose your occupation". You cannot restrict social role of a person because of the caste, you now have to learn to have the same fair attitude towards gender!

A woman with a voice is by definition a strong woman. But the search to find that voice can be remarkably difficult.
MELINDA GATES, Woman's Day Magazine, Oct. 2, 2007

5. Where she is actually brought up with the freedom to have ambition, with the encouragement to succeed. these girls are the ones who you will usually find doing stuff they are enjoying and stuff which is making them happy, not just brining their families money. These girls will usually go far in their chosen line of career, as it will be as much a priority for her as any man in her society.

Where do you as a woman stand? Where do you, as a mother of a daughter stand? 
Most importantly, where do you, as a father, brother, husband, boyfriend stand? Do you have the confidence on your manhood to make an effort to set her free from the regressive society?

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